Producing clear, accurate and engaging health content for a lay or consumer audience can seem extremely daunting. My clear health writing checklist helps you break down the art and science of clear health writing.
If you can answer YES to most of these questions, you’re definitely on the way to producing responsible, high-quality, life-changing health content.
Complete the form to download the checklist – or, read on to view the list below.
Clear Health Writing Checklist
Before you begin
- Have you defined your target audience?
- Have you defined your purpose and objectives?
- Have you chosen a useful, helpful topic?
- Is your idea original?
- Do you understand your topic thoroughly?
- Have you researched your topic extensively?
- Have you consulted a variety of high-quality sources and experts to enhance your understanding?
- Have you read the full studies (not just the abstracts or press releases)?
- Have you written in plain English using common, everyday words?
- Are your sentences short and snappy (under 2 lines)?
- Are your words short (aim for 3 syllables or less on average)?
- Are your paragraphs short (max 4-5 lines)?
- Have you clearly defined or removed all medical jargon?
- Is your writing culturally appropriate?
- Have you used active verbs?
- Have you used inclusive language – ‘you’ and ‘we’?
- Have you used positive language?
- Is your writing conversational, with contractions?
- Have you broken a few grammar rules?
- Have you included some slang words?
- Have you varied sentence lengths?
- Have you told a story or included an anecdote?
- Is your writing entertaining?
- Have you incorporated humour where/if possible?
- Have you asked questions?
- Have you included links to definitions of complex terms?
- Is your content well formatted?
- Is your font size and type clear and easy to read?
- Is there plenty of white space between paragraphs?
- Have you included clear subheadings?
- Do your subheadings contain your key points?
- Have you included bullet or numbered lists?
- Have you linked out to relevant content?
- Are your links well formatted?
- Have you used bold and italics where appropriate?
- Have you included at least one image?
- Is the topic relevant to your target audience?
- Is your tone appropriate for your subject matter?
- Have you addressed your target audience’s pain points, questions or concerns?
Quality control and compliance
- Have you double checked your facts?
- Have you consulted your local marketing and advertising guidelines?
- Is your messaging socially responsible?
- Are your health claims accurate and linked to their original sources?
- Are your key take-home messages memorable?
- Have you given your reader a way to continue their journey after they’ve finished reading?
- Can people with low health literacy skills understand your writing?
- Is your content scannable?
- Have you sent your content to others for feedback?
- Are you satisfied and proud of your final version?